August 2016

That Thing Called Respect by Sharel E. Gordon-Love

sharel e gordon loveThat Thing Called Respect

Aretha Franklin sang about it, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” but that is not what I am talking about here. The respect that I was taught growing up for our elders and others if we wanted it in return. Simply put, “Treat others in the same way you yourself want to be treated.” The Word of God tells us, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also likewise to them.” Luke 6:31

To say that I have never been disrespected is not true, but when it comes from someone that you are not close to, or do not know well, the initial hurt is fleeting. However, when it is someone who you respect because of who they are or portray themselves to be, no matter the relationship, the hurt takes on a different feel…as a matter of fact, it changes from that moment forward.

Recently I experienced such blatant and open disrespect from a person who I respected fully because of who the person showed themselves to be. And they are my elder (there goes that home training!). The reasons I respected the person were many and I felt it was mutual to some degree; there was no reason to doubt that until I experienced their obvious disregard for me.

Initially, I was very hurt, but for days I could not put my finger on why until I remembered an incident that occurred some years back at my place of employment. Similar situation at which time I lost sleep trying to figure out why the hurt was so deep when my relationship with that person was only a co-worker.

I prayed about my co-worker and my feelings, trying to pinpoint why I was feeling some type of way, and the answer came to me as I stilled myself: I was hurt because I could no longer respect that person! I could only have a high opinion of the position from whence they served. This saddened me and I accepted it, but I did not like it one bit. In other words, I can no longer respect the person from my initial view and respect for them, only from the position where they serve.

Fast forward to today when my grandmother’s words especially ring in my ears. “If you want someone to treat you right, you must treat others right. If you do not treat people the way you want to be treated, then you cannot expect them to treat you like you want. It’s just that simple.” I can add to this that the respect we give out may not be returned by the person we give it to, but when it is all said and done, we are still held accountable for treating people the way we want to be treated. It’s that thing called RESPECT. Without it you can lose your witness and adversely effect lives around you.

Author Sharel E. Gordon-Love

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